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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

A CERTAIN Sittas, one of the petty officers stationed at Martyropolis, considering himself aggrieved by the commanders in that place, betrays the city, by watching the withdrawal of the troops which occupied it, and introducing a Persian battalion under colour of being Romans. He thus obtained possession of a place which was most important to the Romans; and, retaining most of the younger females, expelled all the other inhabitants, except a few domestic slaves.

Philippicus in consequence marched thither, and beleaguered the city, without being provided with things necessary for the siege. Nevertheless, he maintained his operations with such means as he possessed, and, having run several mines, threw down one of the towers. He was unable, however, to make himself master of the place, because the Persians continued their exertions through the night, and secured the breach. When the Romans, repeatedly assaulting, were as often repulsed, for the missiles were hurled upon them from vantage ground with unerring aim, and since they were suffering greater loss than they inflicted, they at last raised the siege, and encamped at a short distance, with the sole object of preventing the Persians from reinforcing the garrison. By the order of Maurice, Gregory visits the camp, and induces them to resume the siege. They were, however, unable to accomplish any thing, from their utter want of engines for sieges. In consequence, the army breaks up for winter quarters, and numerous garrisons are left in the neighbouring forts, to prevent the Persians from secretly introducing succours into the place.

In the succeeding summer, on the re-assembling of the army, and the advance of the Persians, a severely contested battle is fought before Martyropolis. Though the advantage was on the side of Philippicus, and many Persians had fallen, with the loss of one distinguished chieftain, a considerable body of the enemy made their way into the city: which was in fact their main object. Thenceforward the Romans gave up the siege in despair, as being unable to encounter this force, and they erect a rival city at the distance of seven stadia, in a stronger situation on the mountains, in order to the carrying on of counter operations. Such were the proceedings of the army during the summer; it broke up on the approach of winter.








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